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Parliament approves bill to increase FDI in insurance sector to 74%

(Asian News Hub) – A bill to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent was approved by Parliament with the Lok Sabha giving green signal to the legislation by a voice vote on Monday.

Piloting the Bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that hiking the FDI limit in the insurance sector will help insurers to raise additional funds and tide over financial problems.

The Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was earlier passed by the Rajya Sabha last week.

The minister said that the government will provide funds to the public sector insurance companies but the private players will have to raise capital on their own.

Observing that insurance companies are facing solvency related issues, she said, “if growth capital is hard to come by, there will be a stress situation. In order that the stress situation is not left unattended, we need to raise the FDI limit.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, Sitharaman said, has further added to the woes of the insurance companies.

The minister further said that the FDI limit was being raised on the recommendations of the regulator IRDAI which had extensive consultations with stakeholders.

The FDI inflow in the insurance sector, the minister said, had increased significantly after the government decided to raise the cap from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in 2015.

As much as Rs 26,000 crore has come as FDI in the insurance sector since 2015, she said, adding the asset under management (AUM) in this sector has grown by 76 per cent during the last five years.


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World Bank rejects El Salvador’s request to help implement bitcoin as legal tender

(Asian News Hub) – The World Bank has rejected the government of El Salvador’s request to help implement bitcoin as legal tender in the country.

Reuters reported the news on late Wednesday, saying that the international lender is concerned about bitcoin’s environmental and transparency issues.

“We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including for currency transparency and regulatory processes,” the World Bank told Reuters.

“While the government did approach us for assistance on bitcoin, this is not something the World Bank can support given the environmental and transparency shortcomings.”

El Salvador had requested “technical assistance” from the World Bank, according to the country’s Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya. Now that the request has been turned down, El Salvador’s timeline of accepting bitcoin across the country within three months could be impacted.

Earlier this month, El Salvador became the first country to classify bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar, after the nation’s Congress approved President Nayib Bukele’s proposal to embrace the cryptocurrency.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said it saw “macroeconomic, financial and legal issues” with El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin. According to Zelaya, however, the IMF was “not against” the implementation of bitcoin.

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US courts deny the SEC to view records related to Ripple’s recent XRP transactions

The court denied access to documents on Ripple’s XRP transactions and post-dating the lawsuit filing.

(Asian News Hub) – The discovery phase of the lawsuit against Ripple Labs continues as Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn denied, in part, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) request for additional discovery.

Ripple’s fair notice defense, which the SEC unsuccessfully moved to strike, is built around the US SEC actions and not its own conduct, since the company focuses on the Commission’s failure to give fair notice to the market about its position on whether XRP qualified as security. 


The Court denied the requested access to the documents related to Ripple’s XRP transactions that post-date the lawsuit filing in December last year, still leaving room for the SEC to renew the motion.

“If, after the parties have exchanged expert reports, it becomes clear that Ripple’s expert relied upon documents that, in fairness, requires the SEC to review post-complaint documents, the SEC may renew its application.”

Besides the documents related to Ripple’s XRP transactions the court also denied the SEC’s request for documents related to Ripple’s lobbying efforts.

“Ripple’s lobbying efforts regarding the status of XRP are not relevant, and any relevancy argument is outweighed by the burden of production,” argued the judge.

In addition, the court denied the SEC’s request for a sixth deposition as “unripe”, which was motioned to “cover any gaps in knowledge” that depositions from other witnesses might leave in the SEC discovery. 

For their sixth deposition, the SEC requested to depose a Ripple “representative pursuant to Rule 30(b)(6).” 

This might have been a powerful tool for the Commission, since that witness would be authorized to speak for the company, unlike other employees deposed in the litigation.

Finally, the appointed judge also denied the SEC’s request to order Ripple to search the records of its General Counsels and Deputy General Counsel on the account of them being “highly burdensome.”


However, part of the SEC’s motion was approved as the court granted the Commission the right to conduct five additional depositions, including former Ripple employees Ron Will, Ethan Beard, Phil Rapoport, and Ryan Zagone as well as Christian Gil, co-founder of crypto trading firm and liquidity provider GSR.

In addition, the appointed judge ordered Ripple to search for responsive documents from the company’s former head of regulatory affairs, Ryan Zagone, and the company’s head of finance, Cameron Kinloch.

Crypto Slate

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98% of CFOs say their hedge fund will invest in Bitcoin by 2026: Study

(Asian News Hub) – Traditional hedge funds are willing to increase their exposure in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets over the next five years, a new survey has found.

Intertrust Global — an international trust and corporate management company — polled the chief financial officers of 100 hedge funds globally about their intention to purchase crypto-assets. About 98% of them responded that they expect their hedge funds to invest 7.2% of their assets in cryptocurrencies by 2026.

The survey found that a 7.2% investment into the cryptocurrency sector would equal about $312 billion if replicated across the sector. Meanwhile, about 17% of the polled CFOs admitted that their hedge fund could have 10% of their assets allocated to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).

The results appeared as Bitcoin corrected by more than 50% after rallying from $3,858 in March 2020 to almost $65,000 in April 2021, leading to speculations that it would crash further due to overvaluation.

Nevertheless, the flagship cryptocurrency held through technical supports around $30,000 and, earlier this week, rallied back above $40,000.

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